Protect and Preserve

What Our Members Have to Say

“Being a bowhunter, I knew it was time to get more involved and support true conservation-focused organizations. Influencing change is a lot easier being a Bowhunters United member.”

– Anthony Federico, Virginia — Member since 2020


Bowhunters United protects our right to hunt. Members share their voice in support of hunting’s future helping BU preserve and strengthen our sport – for them and future generations.


We encourage bowhunters to voice their stance on industry issues by utilizing our Action Alert System. With a few simple clicks, members can forward a message to their local senators and/or representatives letting them know where they stand. This is powerful grassroots advocacy, and we have strength in numbers.


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National Issues


Ensure Archery Classes and Hunter Education Continue to Receive Federal Funding

November 2023: BU Members Helped Pass This Bill!

Tell Congressional leaders to support the passage of H.R. 5110, Protecting Hunting Heritage and Education Act, which would reinstate the eligibility of federal funding for archery classes and hunter education, including the fund for National Archery in the Schools Program. The funding was inappropriately pulled from the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act after a misinterpretation. We must act now to restore eligibility for these critical enrichment programs through H.R. 5110.

Join in our fight to pass legislation that will reinstate the eligibility of federal funding for archery classes and hunter education. We’re confident that a legislative fix is in reach and needed to durably restore funding eligibility for these critical enrichment programs. You can do your part by sending a personalized message to your U.S. Representative encouraging them to support passage of H.R. 5110 the Protecting Hunting Heritage and Education Act.

Congress passed — and the President signed — the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act on June 25, 2022. The goal was to protect America’s children and reduce threats of violence across our country in the wake of the Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, New York, tragedies. The very carefully crafted language was never intended to impact longstanding and successful enrichment programs like those involving archery and hunter education. Unfortunately, archery and other education programs are now deemed ineligible for federal education funding under the U.S. Department of Education’s interpretation.

In an earlier Action Alert message, we asked you to contact your Congressional delegation and encourage them to reach out to Department Secretary Cardona and ask him to reconsider their liberal interpretation. In spite of an overwhelming response from members and Congressional leaders on this issue, the Department has only reaffirmed their interpretation that longstanding in-school hunter education and archery classes, including the National Archery in the School Program, are no longer eligible to receive federal funds under the BSCA. This unfortunate position will impact millions of American children enrolled in archery and hunter education programs if not corrected immediately!

This is an important issue for the entire archery community, and we must remain vigilant until its rectified. You can do your part by sending a personalized message to your United States Representative.


Keep Management Jurisdiction for Gray Wolves Where it Belongs!

Management for Gray Wolves

A fix-all solution from the federal office would devastate gray wolf populations, ecosystems, and communities across the Northern Rockies. Successfully recovered and delisted from the Endangered Species Act in 2020, gray wolf management belongs in each individual state’s hands.

After the federal delisting by the Trump Administration, management authority was returned to the states. Under new state management, impacted communities were given flexibility and protection to determine how to best protect livestock and native species while preserving gray wolf populations. Giving management control back to the states empowered local-led, science-based conservation efforts, instead of politics, and provided aid to farmers, ranchers, and families. It is proving to be one of the greatest success stories to date for the Endangered Species Act. Ecosystem balance returned when states were equipped to conserve deer, elk and livestock herds to best fit their needs.

Gray wolves have their own unique impact on their environments across the Northern Rockies. Please join Bowhunters United, farmers, and hunters across the Rockies and urge federal legislation to keep state jurisdiction for the management of gray wolf populations across the communities of Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, and New Mexico.


FET Tax Slippage: Unfair Advantage and Lost Dollars for U.S. Hunting, Conservation, and Archery Manufacturers

Federal Excise Tax Issues Slippage

Millions of federal excise tax dollars are being lost to foreign suppliers who sell “direct to U.S. consumers,” and avoid paying the excise tax US based manufacturers pay in support of hunting and conservation funding.
What is Federal Excise Tax (FET)?

A 10- to 11-percent tax manufacturers pay on the first sale of firearms, ammunition and some archery equipment established by the Pittman-Robertson Act.

What is FET Slippage?

Federal excise tax avoidance

In short, millions of federal excise tax dollars are being lost each year when foreign manufacturers sell products “direct to U.S. consumers” mainly through the internet. Over 55 conservation organizations have joined together to notify the Senate and House to take corrective action against this unfair practice. They hope to see legislative action within the next year.


Although this is a tax, bowhunters, conservation efforts, and wildlife DIRECTLY benefit from those tax dollars. All of the FET revenue is collected by the IRS, then sent to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, where it is distributed to EACH state wildlife agency.

FET dollars are applied to:

  • Habitat Restoration
  • Hunter Education
  • Wildlife Research
  • Public-access Programs
  • High-Priority Nationwide Conservation Projects

This tax directly benefits bowhunters by ensuring they have places to hunt and animals to pursue.



State Issues


Vermont Fish and Wildlife Board Seats in Jeopardy

May 2024: BU Members Helped Defeat This Bill!

We sent an Action Alert to Bowhunters United members in Vermont and urged them to vote NO on SB 258 which would have allowed for individuals who are philosophically opposed to hunting, angling and/or trapping to get a seat on the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Board. With your help, the bill is no longer moving through legislation. Read more below.

Your voice made a difference.

A few weeks ago we sent the Bowhunters United members in Vermont an Action Alert encouraging them to stand up and make their voices heard in opposition of SB 258 and we applaud them for a job well done. “It is very satisfying to see misaligned efforts like SB 258 be soundly defeated” Dan Forster, ATA’s vice president and chief conservation officer said. “It would have had long-term negative impacts to wildlife conservation, the hunting community, and the archery industry if adopted into law.”

One of many benefits of being a BU member is we keep you informed of political, environmental and economic decisions that could directly or indirectly impact archery and bowhunting. Bowhunters United is committed to delivering tools, such as the Action Alert System, to assist you in taking action with a few simple clicks.

If enacted, SB 258 would have changed the requirements, structure and authority of the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Board, allowing for individuals who are philosophically opposed to hunting, angling and/or trapping to get a seat on the Board. The Board is the critically important body that decides on regulatory frameworks and other issues governing the access and harvest of wildlife in Vermont.

There was absolutely nothing positive in this bill for Vermont’s dedicated hunter-conservationists. This was an ill-advised attempt to dilute the voice of sportsman regarding future wildlife management and regulatory issues involving hunting, fishing and trapping in Vermont.

Deer hunting has a long-standing tradition, is a highly valued resource, and is a strong economic driver for Vermont and the outdoor recreation industry. We are keenly interested in maintaining strong hunting, fishing and trapping constituencies in Vermont, and we appreciate that all sportsman came together through our advocacy efforts and defeated this no-good bill.

Join Bowhunters United today for free, and you’ll receive alerts like this on items that affect your state and other national archery and bowhunting legislation.


Alienation of 100,000 Bowhunters: Keep “Airbows” Out of Oklahoma Archery Season!

April 2023: BU Members Helped Defeat These Bills!

Legislation is moving swiftly through the Oklahoma government that would allow arrow-shooting airguns to be used during archery season. These devices lack the basic components of standard archery equipment and their inclusion into archery seasons would alienate the rights of over 100,000 bowhunters across the state. Join us by asking your Oklahoma State Senator and State Representative to VOTE NO on legislation that would authorize the use of airguns in the archery season.  


Bowhunters United and the Archery Trade Association’s position on arrow-shooting airguns — often inappropriately referred to as “airbows” — is that they lack the basic components of standard archery equipment like a string system and limbs and should therefore not be authorized for use during archery hunting seasons. The Airgun Sporting Association, which is the trade association for the airgun industry, agrees! ASA’s “Guidelines for State Wildlife Agency Regulations” clearly conveys that “arrow shooting airguns should not be considered ‘archery’ equipment.”  These sentiments prevail among related industries, constituencies, state legislatures all across the U.S., and even on Capitol Hill with the Congressional Sportsman Foundation. 

Just by purchasing archery products, bowhunters have contributed well over 1 billion dollars in federal excise taxes since 1973 through the Pittman-Robertson Fund. Last year alone, the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife received over $27 million from this fund to conduct critical wildlife activities across the state. Unlike bows and firearms, airguns, including arrow-shooting airguns, are not included in the items taxed under the Pittman-Robertson Act and do not contribute to conservation funding. Your conservation funding is at risk!   

BU and the ATA are keenly interested in maintaining one of the strongest archery deer hunting constituencies in the country and we strongly oppose the effort to include airbows in Oklahoma’s traditional archery season. 

Please join BU, ATA, and other archery hunters across Oklahoma to stop ill-conceived legislation by asking your Oklahoma legislators to VOTE NO on all legislation seeking to admit the use of airguns during archery only seasons.   


Disguised Michigan Bill Neglects Best Interests for Deer and Elk in Expanded Wildlife Feeding Proposal



Taking authority away from the Natural Resources Commission, Michigan HB 4593 would allow individuals to feed wildlife, including deer and elk, if the feed is located within 300 feet of a residence and there’s no more than two gallons at any given time. We must stop this bill to avoid creating wildlife food dependencies, disruptions and too-close-for-comfort encounters with humans.

The bills deceiving motive is to prevent wildlife from “starving” and increase recreational viewing pleasures. If passed, the bill would concentrate wildlife in small spaces, create a food dependency on human food sources, disrupt natural migratory patterns, and “tame” wildlife which could potentially put lives at risk. Landowners would ultimately become the primary caretakers of deer, elk and additional wildlife native to Michigan.

So, what happens when a recreational viewer leaves home for a few days and isn’t around to refill their feeders? The wildlife they programmed to come to their yards will go hungry because they learned to rely on an unreliable food source.

This bill would enable unnatural behaviors in wildlife and take decision-making power away from the wildlife professionals who know their state’s wildlife best, the NRC.


Connecticut Fails to Gain Their "Bear"ings on Black Bear Management



Currently, in the state of Connecticut, it’s illegal to hunt or trap black bears. The state had another opportunity to implement a science-based management strategy but let it slip through the cracks. Residents report multiple bear attacks and property damage claims, giving state lawmakers more reasons to give bear hunting a go.

The strategic science-based management of the black bear population of Connecticut is slim to none. This past year, the state missed the opportunity to implement SB 1148, which would’ve authorized the Commission of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to approve regulations that would establish an annual bear hunt lottery season in Litchfield County. Instead on May 18, 2023, the Joint Committee on Environment removed language that would have established a lottery for the harvest of 50 black bears. The state fails to take responsibility for its overpopulation of bears and will continue seeing a rise in property damage and attacks on humans and their pets.


The Hard Facts:

  • Attacks:
    • August 19, 2023: A 74-year-old woman encountered a bear while walking her dog and was attacked just outside of Hartford. She suffered multiple bite wounds.
    • October 16, 2022: A 10-year-old boy playing in his grandparent’s backyard was attacked by a 250-pound bear that tried to drag him out of the yard by his leg.
  • Population Management:
    • Compared to hunting, population control alternatives like contraception and sterilization are expensive, are funded by state resources, require significant manpower, and have not proven to be an effective method of managing free-range populations.
    • Outside of humans, bears don’t have any known predators. An overpopulation of bears can lead to food scarcity, cannibalism and increased competition, resulting in more injuries and health declines.

Adopting a bear hunting season would reduce the likeliness of human-to-wildlife conflicts, boost funds to the American System of Conservation Funding, and re-establish a powerful bear management tool for DEEP.

Bowhunters United will continue to monitor and support bills in the upcoming legislation year that aid in the reformation of Connecticut’s bear management strategies.


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